San Clemente goalie Tiffany Corder blocks a shot during penalty kicks by Esperanza's Lauren Kennedy to clinch the victory for the Tritons in the girls soccer playoff game Thursday.<br><a href=""><b>READ THE STORY.</b></a>

San Clemente girls soccer stays alive, thanks to Corder's saves

San Clemente girls soccer stays alive, thanks to Corder's saves
The goalie is the hero of the game after stopping two Esperanza shots during penalty kicks. The Tritons move on to the Division I semifinals.

SAN CLEMENTE - With the season resting on her ability to stop a talented group of shooters, San Clemente senior goalie Tiffany Corder maintained one constant thought in her mind.

"I was thinking about the team," Corder said. "I knew I had to do this for our team."

Behind Corder's performance in the penalty-kick session, San Clemente, ranked No. 2 in the county, is now one step away from a return trip to the CIF-SS Division I girls soccer finals.

Corder stopped two of the four penalty kicks she faced as San Clemente beat top-ranked Esperanza, 4-2, in penalty kicks after the quarterfinal match was scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods Thursday night at San Clemente High.

"My mentality was that we were going to win this game," Corder said. "It seems with every game we get stronger and we're just going to try to keep up our intensity."

The Tritons (23-4-1) will now take on El Toro in a semifinal match Tuesday afternoon. Esperanza finished the season at 23-4.

"I feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win," Tritons coach Stacey Finnerty said. "This win was about the girls' character, work ethic, and coming together as a cohesive team."

After neither team could produce much offense in the overtime periods, Shelby Chambers-Garcia gave the Tritons a 1-0 lead by converting the first penalty kick. After Kylie Bono tied it at 1, senior Kaylin Mellem converted her chance for San Clemente to make it 2-1.

Corder then came up with her first big save, stopping Aztecs senior Ashleigh Cooley.

Tritons senior Alexis Mahoney and Aztecs senior Garcia then exchanged successful attempts, giving San Clemente a 3-2 advantage.

Zoe Jeffers made it 4-2 when she converted her kick for the Tritons. Corder then made her  save on Lauren Kennedy's shot to clinch the victory and set off a jubilant celebration by the Tritons on the field.

Aztecs coach John King pointed to missed chances as a key factor in the defeat.

"We just couldn't finish the chances that we got," he said. “There’s only going to be one team that’s happy at the end of the season and these girls have nothing to be ashamed of.”

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